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Beto's Burrito: A children's story collaboration with my dad's video poster

Beto doesn't want to wake up from his extraordinary dreams, but something tells him it will be worth it. Help us publish Beto's story! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on May 27, 2011.

Beto doesn't want to wake up from his extraordinary dreams, but something tells him it will be worth it. Help us publish Beto's story!

About this project

Update: In our final week on Kickstarter we are feeling incredibly grateful. Thank you everyone for believing in this project as much as we do. I am meeting with local printers this week to finalize some quotes, as we hope to work with a local printer to support a community business and an environmentally-friendly and custom process. It's a little more expensive than we'd originally planned, but we think it will make a difference, so every pledge still counts! Check out our project update for a more detailed budget.

Twelve years ago my dad wrote this children's story, Beto's Burrito. I finally finished illustrating it last year. It was this collaboration that helped my dad and I have a relationship after twenty years of not being close, so it's really important to us! The book is just about print-ready and we need your help sending it to the printer.

The story

"Beto is awake. He hears his father’s voice again. He thinks about his father’s voice. At times it is magic. Sometimes it scares him. Today his father is quiet and in a hurry, but always there is something in his father’s voice that makes him feel warm, even when the voice is scary."

Beto's Burrito is a simple story about a little boy who doesn't want to leave his extraordinary dreams to get ready for school, only the delicious smells from the kitchen keep waking him up! The prospect of his mother's breakfast burrito makes Beto more willing (Beto loves burritos), but it isn't without a struggle that he gets out of bed.

The illustrations bring the story to life with flying popsicles, a skateboarding dog and a scene where Beto imagines he is very very tall so he can show his mom how much he loves her. There is another wonderful part where Beto daydreams of going to work with his father, a construction worker, where together they build the most fantastic wall.

The story's origins
Dad says, "I have spent the vast majority of my life in the American southwest. It's hard to do that without coming into close contact with the Latino culture. As with any culture, conditions from family to family vary; but the truth is, a great number of families are poor, and live very simply. In most of these families, though, there are two key elements: they may not have access to privileges that others of us have, but they live happily; and love of family is practically hallowed ground, especially between children and parents."

I wanted to write a story that Latino children and parents could treasure together, to reaffirm their cultural values, and also one that would open up the beauty of this displaced culture to others who may know less about it. It is very simple, but we hope it will bring a good feeling to your hearts."

Book features

  • at least 14 spreads of full color illustrations
  • a few words of Spanish vocabulary (if possible we may try to print a full Spanish version)
  • 25 flying popsicles
  • 4 soccer balls
  • one incredibly loyal dog

Where the money will go
Our target is the minimum amount I've determined we need to print about 100 copies of the book in its most basic form and cover our costs. Anything past our goal will go toward making the book as high quality as possible, including fancifying the cover, professionally scanning the artwork, printing on better paper, printing more copies, or making a Spanish version. Some of the money will go toward creating the Beto-memorabilia associated with the pledges and a bit will go toward postage and shipping.We want to stretch the budget as far as it will go.

Why not traditional publishing?
I spent a long time writing the perfect query letter and last fall, 11 drafts later, I began sending copies out to literary agents. Six months later we've only heard back from a handful, and unfortunately, because Dad is sick, I'm not sure we have the luxury of time usually required by traditional publishing. It would break my heart if Dad didn't get to see the book published and I don't want either of us to miss out on seeing this project through to the end.

Why the food-themed rewards?

Beto really does love burritos, but my dad also loves cooking (and I love eating) so it's no surprise that food is a central theme in our story. We believe food can be an amazing way to show someone you love them, and like Beto's parents, we like the idea of ensuring kids walk out the front door with their bellies full, ready for what the world will throw at them. We're sure this value is shared by families of all backgrounds and I'm really excited to put some of the food-themed pledge rewards into action.

Spend some time with a kid

We hope this story resonates with people who have kids in their lives they wish they were closer to, not only because of how my dad and I reconnected, but because a childrens book is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with a child. Since this story is about every day routines, reading it with a child can be a way to talk about what your day-to-day lives are like and really get to know each other. We hope people do this with Beto's Burrito!

A good cause
After the book is printed (post-Kickstarter involvement, since Kickstarter is not a platform for charity fundraising), we will be donating 50% of any profits to a program that does research into drug and alcohol treatment. We know addiction is an issue that affects many families and we hope in some small way to help advance treatment options for families and individuals who are suffering from this issue. Right now we are looking at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center – they are a "non-denominational institution with a Baptist history." Please let us know if you have more ideas.


The Kickstarter FAQs are a great place to look for answers if you're wondering about pledging or how this process works. Remember that if we don't meet our target by the deadline, we don't get anything and you don't have to pay, but please help us meet our goal so we can stop sweating!!! If you have any other questions don't hesitate to email me:

Our street cred

Tom McDaniel has written hundreds of poems and published with Blue Unicorn, The Florida Review, The Texas Review and Kansas Quarterly among other literary journals. A native Texan he has lived in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish. As an illustrator and designer I have worked on kiddie stuff for Kids Help Phone (Canada), Domestos Kids Zone (UK), Gillette, Yell, and my favorite client so far – the Wixárika indigenous community in Mexico.
Thanks for your support, it means the world!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    0 backers

    A big thank you from Dad & me for supporting our project!

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    27 backers

    All of the above + an ebook version of Beto's Burrito (for ipad, nook, etc.)

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    6 backers

    All of the above + a kid-friendly burrito recipe postcard (a fun design of a recipe that you can make with a child)

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    75 backers

    All of the above + a copy of the book

  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    27 backers

    All of the above + a personalized inscription in your book to your kid of choice (or anyone)

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    13 backers Limited (37 left of 50)

    All of the above + a signed, limited edition 11x17 print of your choice

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    4 backers

    All of the above + 1 adult-sized and 1 kid-sized Beto-themed aprons

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    All of the above + a handmade plush toy popsicle with wings (disclaimer: it only flies if you throw it!)

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Beto Dream package: all of the above + an in-person or Skype reading of Beto's Burrito to a classroom, birthday party, your family at your kitchen table, the little ones at bedtime – whoever & whenever! + recipe cards for the audience

Funding period

- (30 days)